Paris will step up its crackdown on polluting vehicles by banning all petrol-fuelled cars from the city’s streets by 2030, the mayor’s office has said.
That promise comes in the wake of Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s recently announced plan to ban all diesel cars from the French capital by 2024, the year when Paris will host the Summer Olympics.
Only electric-powered cars will be allowed in the world’s most visited city if the latest measures on petrol-fuelled vehicles – which have yet to be formally approved – are enforced.
Ms Hidalgo has angered many Parisian drivers with her efforts to make the traffic-snarled city a much greener place, notably by adding hundreds of kilometres of cycle paths, pedestrianising many stretches of the banks of the River Seine, and organising car-free days.
The Socialist mayor insists the crackdown on combustion-engine vehicles is needed to help end the relatively frequent surges in air pollution which lead authorities to impose temporary, partial bans on cars.
President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government has already set a target date of 2040 for an end to cars dependent on fossil fuels and this will require faster phase-outs in large cities, Paris City Hall said in a statement.
“This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases,” said Christophe Najdovski, a deputy city mayor responsible for transport policy.
“Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers…so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030,” he told France Info radio.
City Hall was at pains to point out that its plans were not an attack on cars or a “ban” of any sort, arguing that cars – electric ones – will still be plentiful in the city.
“The aim is no way formulated as a ‘ban’ by 2030, but as a trajectory which seems both credible and sustainable,” it said in its statement.
Paris was host city for the latest worldwide pact on policies to tame global warming, and had already been eyeing an end to diesel cars in the city by the time the Olympics are held in 2024.
There are about 32 million household cars in France, where the population is about 66 million, according to 2016 data from the Argus trade publication.
Most Parisians do not own cars, and instead use the reliable and relatively cheap public transport network and, increasingly, transport schemes that offer short-term bike, scooter or electric car rental.
Many cities across the world are considering measures similar to the ones planned in Paris, with the UK university city of Oxford unveiling plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from its centre as part of the most radical set of proposals so far in Britain to curb pollution.
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